I walk into classrooms overflowing with students who feel terribly wounded in their psyches (many of them see therapists), yet I do not think that they want therapy from me. They do want an education that is healing to the uninformed, unknowing spirit. They do want knowledge that is meaningful. They rightfully expect that my colleagues and I will not offer them information without addressing the connection between what they are learning and their overall life experiences.
This demand on the students’ part does not mean that they will always accept our guidance. This is one of the joys of education as the practice of freedom, for it allows students to assume responsibility for their choices.
– bell hooks
Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom
Routledge, New York, N.Y. 1994. page 19.
Author, thinker, and professor, bell hooks wrote the above words in reference to a college classroom. She, the professor; them, the adult students. Her words could easily be my own, in reference to my elementary school students. When I am discouraged and energetically pushed down by the negativity, and weight of stagnant teaching practices around me, I read from bell hooks’ Teaching to Transgress so I can re-center.
bell hooks (b. 1952)
(Source: S9.com Biographical Dictionary)